October 1, 2012
News Release 12-103
Inv. No. 332-537
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has launched an investigation into the global competitiveness of the U.S. commercial olive oil industry.

The investigation, Olive Oil: Conditions of Competition between U.S. and Major Foreign Supplier Industries, was requested by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means in a letter received on September 12, 2012.

In its letter, the Committee stated: "The U.S. commercial olive oil industry has grown rapidly over the last decade, employing modern agriculture technologies and research to capture the growing domestic demand for olive oil.... U.S. consumption of olive oil has increased approximately 40 percent in the past ten years. Although domestic production has increased, the vast majority of U.S. consumption is satisfied by imports."

As requested, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide, to the extent practicable, information and analysis on the major suppliers of olive oil, particularly Spain, Italy, and North African countries, as well as the United States. The report will cover the period 2008-2012 and to the extent possible will provide:

The USITC will submit its report to the Committee by August 12, 2013.

The USITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation at 10:30 a.m. on December 5, 2012. Requests to appear at the hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on November 14, 2012, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. For further information, call 202-205-2000.

The USITC also welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary of the Commission at the above address and should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on February 12, 2013. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.

Further information on the scope of the investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the USITC's notice of investigation, dated October 1, 2012, which can be obtained from the USITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000.

USITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the House Committee on Ways and Means, or the Senate Committee on Finance. The resulting reports convey the Commission's objective findings and independent analyses on the subject investigated. The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the USITC submits its findings and analyses to the requester. General factfinding investigations reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

# # #